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Safety of Navigation

The Ports and Yachting Directorate through the Valletta Ports Vessel Traffic Service (Valletta VTS) the Traffic Management section and Hydrographic Office provide assistance to vessels navigating within Maltese territorial and internal waters.

The Traffic Management section deals mainly with the terminal operators and ship agents and handles the pre-arrival and pre-departure notifications and berth planning.

Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) department handles shipping movements by providing Information services (IS), a Traffic Organisation Services (TOS) and when deemed necessary a Navigational Assistance Service (NAS). These services are provided on a 24/7 basis. The personnel manning the VTS station were trained in line with International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) standards.

The Maltese Hydrographic Office (MHO) is responsible for gathering and providing hydrographic data, compiling and disseminating navigational charts, and providing maritime safety information to mariners, in compliance with the requirements of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). The MHO is a full member of the International Hydrographic Office (IHO).

The MHO performs a wide variety of roles that include: Providing Maritime Safety Information (MSI) data to users of the marine environment, Bathymetric surveying, production of Navigational Charts of Maltese waters that are made available in both paper and digital formats and monitoring and administering Malta’s Aids to Navigation.

Small Ships Regulations